1880–1899 A pioneer lays the groundwork for the modern company Firma August Stenman AB was founded in 1881, when 29-year old August Stenman put himself in debt to buy the Thunell hinge factory in Eskilstuna.August was a pioneer in every way – including in automation. He set his sights on mass production and long series right from the start. By designing special manufacturing machines and conducting extensive product development, he secured a market leading position for the company. August was also an innovator in other areas. For example, thanks to the extensive automation in his factory, he could give women the chance to earn a living, which was very unusual at the turn of the 20th century.